Tuesday, September 3, 2013

046 - The legend of Sir Galdor

This post refers to play that occurred in a more abstract way in between Chapter 2 and 3. Some was played by post, some was done at the table. Some really neat gameplay took place in this session: I skimped on the technical details but the Social Engineering book saw a lot of page flicking. 

Session 18

  • Part I - The Legend of Sir Galdor
  • Part II - A journey up the Lhûn valley

Arnadil wrote a masterpiece

With his hip badly mangled, Arnadil had to find a way to kill time while sitting down. Arnadil began gathering notes about the commission's journey. He really got into it an began writing prose from his notes almost right away. His keen intellect allowed him to learn fast, and by the time that the Raven had touched the docks in Osgiliath, Arnadil had a manuscript that read like a professional piece from a chronicler. Little did he knew at this point that his manuscript would play a key role in thwarting Sir Galdor's takeover bid on the commission!

Meanwhile, and after his hip got better, Arnadil also spent a good amount of time teaching swordplay to the hobbits. He learned a lot about teaching while his companion got to refine their rough skills a little bit. 

Thannolf the sailor man (toot! toot!)

On the way back from Forochel, Thannolf busied himself to become the first mate of the Raven. He wanted to get the pay boost, and definitely had some time to burn off in between drinking binges. He applied himself to the craft of seafaring. Using his empathy, and a good dose of acting at the right moment, he won the respect of the crew and the affection of Vacros, the captain of the Raven. This got him to the position of second mate with a small pay increase. An unintended secondary effect of this effort was that it became clear to him that the Palantir commission had been deceived by the crew all along: The Raven was indeed on lease from Dol-Amroth, but Vacros had assembled the crew specifically to take the commission to Forochel in hope to sail away with the Palantirs and fence them to a mysterious high bidder. With the Winter Drake involved, Vacros cut his loss and dropped the plan.

Vacros, knowing Thannolf all too well at that time, bribed the northmen into keeping this secret for long enough to avoid trouble with the other commission members. Thannolf added his celebins to his (ethically muddled) stash and decided to take the secret to his grave. 

Finbert's lost treasure is really lost 

Finbert was very sore that his purse had disappeared at the Imenstone, unlike all other commission members. He suspected Thannolf, whom he distrusted because of his insatiable greed and criminal past. Over the length of the trip, he tried to take advantage of Thannolf's compulsive carousing to interrogate him while he was drunk. However, Finbert got more often than not drunk happy faster than the young northmen [Carousing contest won by Thannolf.] Furthermore, Thannolf's empathy allowed him to get cued that the hobbit was on his tail and caused him to remain guarded. Overall, Finbert's attempt to pull information from Thannolf was unsuccessful [resolved as an influence check as the gameplay was abstracted]. To make things worst, Thannolf's Fortune telling allowed him to read through Finbert very well. The northmen took advantage of this. He ended up having a little fun at the expense of the hobbit. Finbert stopped drinking, which was hard for him as he is fond of food and drink. But Thannolf was already cued and kept his guard up. 

When Finbert arrived in Minas Tirith, he sought employment Public Houses. Surprisingly, what got him the job came from an unexpected place: Finbert was the companion of the now famous Sir Galdor of Dol-Amroth, champion in the North.

The Legend of Sir Galdor, Hero in the North

A buzz came upon Mina's Tirith in the early days of July. A minstrel name Petron proposed a new epic saga put to music which told the story of Sir Galdor, knight of Dol-Amroth. According to the epic song, Sir Galdor met with Linluile, patron said of Annuminas, struck down a demon in the north and confronted a winter drake. He was accompanied by valiant hobbits, a legendary dwarf warrior and a rabble of other who played no large parts in the tale (other than giving up too fast when facing the drake). This tale spread like wildfire through the city, and rubbed the party members as both offensive and inaccurate. 

Arnadil invited the nobility and the gentry to a ball in his Mina's Tirith home. Petron may have wrapped his fingers around the crowds in public houses, but Arnadil intended to make truth prevail for the upper crust of Gondor. Arnadil's invitation made the rounds in the City Watch mess halls, and throughout the King's court [Propaganda check success]. Arnadil passed his manuscript to Irina who started to put keys parts to songs [Signing check success with MoS 3]. The evening was well attended, except for the notable absence of Sir Galdor himself. Irina's music moved the crowds and a few good laugh were shared on Petron's version of the company's adventures. Although at a great expense, Arnadil's ball had the effect of setting the records straight at least on the 7th level of the city. Irina couldn't outperform Petron on the public house circuit, but the ball had a deep impact on how the coming week developed.

The news that Prince Imrahil of Dol-Amroth had pledged a navy ship and a small force of horsemen and pikemen shook the company at first. The word on the street was that Sir Galdor was to lead the new expedition. The company learned from Kasper (still Sir Galdor's squire), that Mildred Imrahil, the grand-son of the prince, had joined Galdor as a page. Some company members expressed the concerns that the legend of Sir Galdor was drifting from a bad joke into a potential disaster. However, the Lord Chancellor made clear to Arnadil that King Elessar had never specified who should lead the company, nor that anyone could impose a leader no matter how generous the pledge may be. It was thus decided that Sir Galdor and his new pet would be given the command of the slow soldiers while the rest of the company would rush ahead and hopefully solve the problem before the circus hit the town.

Another point of note is that Sir Galdor wasn't capable of coming up with all this on his own: a force was seeking fracture lines within the company for its own purpose.

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